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Published 16th December 2016

Vol 57 No 25


A turning point vote for the Black Star

Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016
Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016

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After stellar elections, demands mount on the new government for a speedy economic turnaround and thousands of jobs

Young revellers partied long into the night in Accra and Kumasi on 9 December, marking the victory of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with 53.8% of the vote in the presidential election two days earlier. Seconds after the Chairwoman of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, announced the results to a packed media centre, vuvuzela fanfares blared across the streets of the capital.


Things fall apart in Rivers vote

Both parties are to blame for the rigging and killings that could weaken President Buhari's national standing

No one emerges with credit from the violent fiasco of the elections that were re-run in Rivers State on 10 December. Nationally, the polls were a test of strength between the All P...

Gambia at the cliff-edge

Jammeh made history twice: first by conceding defeat and then by changing his mind. Presidents are trying to talk him down

It would take a mere seven days for President Yahya Jammeh to pronounce the unthinkable and request the impossible. On 2 December, he appeared on television to tell a surprised wor...


After a year of credible elections in Ghana and South Africa but rigged ones in Uganda, Gabon and Zambia, together with a raft of political and corporate corruption scandals, there will be a new focus on judicial systems. It was the independence of court decisions over election managemen...

After a year of credible elections in Ghana and South Africa but rigged ones in Uganda, Gabon and Zambia, together with a raft of political and corporate corruption scandals, there will be a new focus on judicial systems. It was the independence of court decisions over election management and access to data that allowed Ghana's main opposition party to set up its own results reporting system in what could become a template for opposition parties across the continent.

Similarly, it was South Africa's independent judiciary that backed Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's investigation into President Jacob Zuma's use of US$20 million of public funds to refurbish his extensive homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, as well as her probe into the business ties between the wealthy Gupta family and the presidency. Madonsela then called for a detailed judicial investigation into those links. And as Zuma's support base ebbs, he faces another 680 charges relating to the misuse of public funds.

A big legal  fight is also coming over Mozambique’s $2 billion of secret debts. Ratings agencies say that the banks, Crédit Suisse and Russia's VTB, involved in marketing $750 mn. of the 'tuna bonds' failed to do serious due diligence on the deal. Still more legal brickbats are  flying in Guinea, following the arrest of former Mines Minister Mahmoud Thiam on charges that he laundered a bribe payment from a Chinese company through the New York banking system. Thiam denies all wrongdoing.

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Preparing for the worst

Spending cuts announced in November should ease negotiations in January for an IMF package. Shocks are in store

The much-needed International Monetary Fund financial package expected in January will be accompanied by drastic cutbacks and a drop in living standards. Major cuts to fuel, electr...

The numbers game next year

The power struggle between President Zuma and senior ANC officials trying to force him out will intensify in January

Rival factions in the African National Congress are shoring up their support bases within the party for another round of combat. After surviving an attempt by his opponents on the ...

Electoral process stumbles but stays on track 

The tortuous parliamentary selection needs more time, but the chances are that Hassan Sheikh, despite losing international confidence, will win

No Somali President was elected on 30 November, as scheduled, but it looks now as though the process will be brought to a conclusion by 15 December. It had already become clear the...

Lungu against the law

The President may be comfortably installed in State House but he is not easing up on institutions which get in his way

The latest public body to feel President Edgar Lungu's enmity is the judiciary, which has been granting petitions to nullify some constituencies' results in the 16 August polls. Op...

Zille threat to De Lille

The Democratic Alliance is braced for battle as the former party leader says she may stand for the provincial leadership

The former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader and present Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, has surprised many by saying that she may stand for the provincial leadership of the party...

Killers crowd in

Most attention is focused on demonstrations against Kabila but murderous violence is breaking out all over the country

While the end of President Joseph Kabila's two terms of office on 19 December is set to spark mass opposition protests, less notice has been paid to the growth of separate conflict...

Dos Santos picks his man

A new candidate will lead the MPLA into next year's elections. He is a devoted loyalist to the current President

Amid all the talk of the quiet Defence Minister, João Lourenço, taking over as head of the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, it is often forgotten that President José Ed...


Gunning for aid

The European Commission proposes to allow development aid to fund the military in developing countries, though only 'in exceptional circumstances'. This is part of a trend to reduc...

NASA for launch

Opposition leaders are edging closer to a multi-ethnic coalition to stand against President Uhuru Kenyatta's governing Jubilee coalition in next August's elections. Coalition for R...

MK vs JZ

General Siphiwe Nyanda was during the liberation struggle one of Jacob Zuma's closest confidants in the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), b...

Breaking point

Civil Disobedience Day on 19 December has created a widespread sense of expectation in what could be the biggest show of opposition since the government shot dead over 200 demonstr...